07/01/2008 11:00PM

Asmussen holding two aces in futurity


OPELOUSAS, La. - More than $1 million in purse money will be on the line Friday night when Evangeline Downs presents Louisiana Legends Night. The 11 stakes, named after pioneers of the state's rich racing history, are all restricted to Louisiana-breds.

Post time has been moved up to 5:50 p.m. Central to accommodate the expanded program.

Two divisions of the D.S. "Shine" Young Futurity will highlight the program. Both races will be run at five furlongs.

Lightlightlight, trained by Steve Asmussen, heads up the $133,600 filly division after posting the fastest qualifying time of either sex here three weeks ago. She won her trial with ease, just five days after finishing a close second in the $100,000 Texas Thoroughbred Association Sales Futurity on June 7 at Lone Star Park. Donnie Meche retains the mount.

Asmussen will also send out the likely favorite in the $128,600 colts and gelding division, Call West. He won his trial by an expanding five lengths and has won 2 of 3 starts. Meche is also his rider.

One of the most eagerly awaited events on the card is the $100,000 Pierre LeBlanc Memorial for fillies and mares, a 5 1/2-furlong sprint that marks the local debut of multiple stakes winner Smitty's Sunshine. The Morris Nicks-trained Smitty's Sunshine, a winner of 9 of 19 and more than $500,000, has defeated open stakes competition from Churchill to Calder with several other venues in between. Meche has the call on another morning-line favorite.

Others in the LeBlanc include recent stakes winner Coach Mike and East Coast invader Golden Opportunity, who is trained by Steve Klesaris. John Jacinto comes in from his Louisiana Downs base to ride Coach Mike, while Curt Bourque will be on board Golden Opportunity.

Superior Storm, a winner of four of her last five races, all stakes, will be the short-priced favorite in the $75,000 Frank Abadie Memorial for 3-year-old fillies at a mile. Trained by Richard Jackson, Superior Storm won the Salute Stakes here on June 13 after capturing the Fantasia on the opening-day card at Louisiana Downs on May 17. Jackson has once again given the call to Jacinto.

In the $100,000 Pola Benoit for older runners at 1 1/16 miles, Magic Sunset appears to be the one to beat after a commanding nine-length victory in allowance company at Louisiana Downs last month. Trainer James Hudson has given the mount to Don Simington.

Raspberry Wine goes in the $100,000 James "Archie" Sebastien for fillies and mares at a mile and 70 yards. The versatile 6-year-old Raspberry Wine has won over both dirt and turf and comes off a second-place finish over the Louisiana Downs turf in the Seven Stars Stakes. Curt Bourque has the call.

Tortuga Straits will put his 3-for-3 local mark on the line in the $100,000 Junis Delahoussaye for older sprinters following a game victory in the allowance prep for the Delahoussaye on June 12. He will square off against the next four horses who finished behind him last time out, including the talented John Charles, whose three-race winning streak ended that evening. Kerwin Clark rides Tortuga Straits. Gerard Melancon will be on board John Charles.